A trio of drunkards were sitting right next to us, and were adamant that Parenton’s makes the finest in the region.Time to plan an excursion to Jefferson, Louisiana.
We had business in nearby Kenner (slicing an Iron Age hog belly on a friend’s fancy Hobart cutting machine) last week so we immediately began plotting a course to the old neighborhood cafe that opened in 1946.Glad we did.
Walking into the old, wood-paneled po boy parlor we half-expect to see Uncle Earl Long sitting over in the corner eating a meatball po boy, and reading the New Orleans Item-Tribune. Parenton’s is old-timey but not in a retro-sense. Its stripes have come hard-earned, weathering over a half-century of feast and famine in a region known for soaring financial times as well as dogged busts.A sign outside touting “we have beautiful oysters” makes our lunch choice an easy one as this is prime Louisiana oyster season. Late Winter marks our favorite time of the year to eat oyster po boys as the briny bayous and estuaries are cold, and the old oystermen are trawling up big salty monsters. $9 will get you a substantial sandwich stuffed with plentiful oysters, and dressed with tomatoes, mayo, lettuce and pickles. At this early hour eaters are sparse but we get the feeling the 30 or so seats inside the rumpus-room sized restaurant fill up around noon. Tuesdays at Parenton’s is fried chicken day, and on Thursdays you can get a chicken fried steak po boy. We’ve never had a chicken fried steak outside Texas, and don’t plan on doing so anytime soon but if that’s your thing please take a crack at it and report back.
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Parenton’s Po Boys
4304 Ellen St
Hours of operation